News

Foster Youth Need Stimulus Payments - No Strings Attached

Yesterday, the Department of Child Safety finally re-launched an online portal to distribute COVID relief funds to older and former foster youth. The new portal, administered by Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, allows young people ages 14 through 26 to apply for needs-based pandemic relief. $10.5M in federal funds for the relief were allocated to Arizona in early March, but DCS is having trouble getting the money out the door—and time is running out for young people ages 21 through 26 who will lose eligibility on September 30th.

The first iteration of the portal was cumbersome and the process was time-consuming. Although DCS agreed to correct the problems and re-launch a new version of the portal, nearly two months have gone by without any way for young people to apply for funds while a new portal and process were readied. Unfortunately, even though the process may be improved, DCS continues to rely on need-based criteria to distribute the funds. Despite federal guidance, urging from community stakeholders, and a spate of other states that have adopted the strategy, Arizona refuses to make stimulus checks available to all eligible young people who have aged out of foster care.

That’s why Fostering Advocates Arizona (FAAZ), a group of policy advocates with lived experience in foster care, continues to call on DCS to use a portion of the funds to provide every young person who aged out of foster care with a $500 no-strings-attached payment. Stimulus checks are the fastest and fairest way to get the funds to foster youth who need help now to pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities.

Please join FAAZ in the #ReleaseTheFunds campaign by signing this petition.

Sign the #ReleaseTheFunds petition

More News

News

Save Our Schools Arizona Petition Drive

Save Our Schools Arizona is running a statewide referendum to stop the universal voucher expansion passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor earlier this summer. This expansion will strip Arizona public schools of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. This means our taxpayer funds will be…

News

2022 KidsCount Data Show AZ Children are in Crisis

Children in the United States are experiencing anxiety and depression at alarming rates, per the newly released 2022 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, a 50-state report of recent household data released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.   In the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, 9% of U.S. high school…

Happy Birthday to the Children’s Health Insurance Program!

Today marks a special anniversary: the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is 25 years old. The program, known as “KidsCare” in Arizona, has established itself as a critical federal-state partnership to meet children’s health care needs.   Arizona hasn’t always embraced the program….